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NCSAM Tip #7: Surfing in Different Oceans

Web-based threats have never been higher and are expected to keep growing. Remember the days when viruses were spread via floppy disks, then email, then USB flash drives, and then instant messenger applications? While most of those risks still exist today, they are overshadowed by the enormous risk that casual web browsing has become. Some of the most common threats include technical problems like “cross-site scripting” and “cross-site request forgery” that cause browsers to behave in unexpected ways, often without any indication of a problem. “Phishing” and silent unintended downloads called “drive-by downloads” are also serious threats that can leave an unsuspecting user with malware that steals banking and personal information.

It’s also true that many of us have multiple web browsers installed on our computers. If not, they are easy to install. The most common choices seem to be Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Opera. We can take advantage of this fact to create a very simple but effective security advantage.

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NCSAM Tip #6: Three Tasks to Make Your Network Significantly More Secure

Securing a large complicated network can be a daunting task with so many technologies and devices. You may be asking yourself where to start. What could I do to get the most out of the time I spend securing my network? There are three areas that you can start with that will significantly reduce your attack surface and make your network more secure in the process. It is such a simple list yet overlooked by many: patching, maintain passwords, and disable unnecessary services.

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Invitation to Cisco Webcast on how to manage Mobility in the Retail Store on October 20th, 2011

Consumers today are highly attached to mobile technology and are using it as part of their daily lives and shopping experiences.  According to Nielson forty percent of mobile consumers over 18 in the U.S. now have smartphones.  As these users consume bandwidth to send and retrieve content from SMS, MMS, Email, and social media apps such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter that supports pictures and videos, they are increasingly looking to Wi Fi to improve their experience.

Are retailers offer their shopping channels (including store, web, voice and social media) to consumers, the consumers are expecting to be able to use their mobile device across all the channels whereever they are, at home, at work, and IN YOUR STORE.

As a retailer, facilitating mobility in the retail store can differentiate you from the competition, plus help you meet the soaring expectations of your customers. On the other hand, allowing access to your wireless network poses potential risks. You’ve got to ensure the security of your data, comply with PCI mandates, prevent misuse and interference, and provide consistent bandwidth for your own operations.

For help retailers address this issue, we are hosting a webcast on October 20th 10:00am Pacific Time titled 

Mobility in the Store: Managing Your Network for Today’s Empowered Shoppers

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On The Edge: Think Different About I.T. for Remote Sites

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Like so many millions of people around the world this week, the passing of Steve Jobs and Apple’s call to “Think Different” has us doing exactly that. His ideas improved the world in innumerable ways, and the best way we can honor his brilliance is to build on it in ways that even Steve might not have imagined.

Each of us in the I.T. world has huge potential to improve the day-to-day existence of our co-workers, partners, and customers, if we just take a few minutes to think differently and approach our traditional challenges with a new mind set. Here are just a few ideas on we might invest in our future together. I’d love to hear yours.

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NCSAM Tip #4: The Hidden Data in JPG Photos

Digital photography has certainly brought considerable joy into the lives of millions of people around the world, but there are also security implications and they may be somewhat different than what many people believe. Many images, including JPGs, can contain metadata, data about the data in the image. To illustrate, I took a picture of the Ike cutout in front of my cube.

ike

Seems harmless enough, but let’s take a look at the EXIF data in this image.

I used http://regex.info/exif.cgi but there are other sites and apps that will let you view and/or manipulate EXIF data. Per regex.info here is some of the EXIF data:

Basic Image Information

Description: SAMSUNG
Camera: Samsung GT-I9000
Lens: 3.5 mm (Max aperture f/2.6)
Exposure: Auto exposure, Program AE, 1/13 sec, f/2.6, ISO 100
Flash: Off, Did not fire
Date: September 15, 2011 9:26:08AM
Location: 37° 24′ 30″N, 121° 55′ 39″WAltitude: 0 m
Timezone guess from earthtools.org: 8 hours behind GMT
File: 1,920 × 2,560 JPEG (4.9 megapixels)
1,542,855 bytes (1.5 megabytes) Image compression: 90%

Look, it put me correctly in Building 17.

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